Author Topic: [Review] Finlandia Premium Lager 1.5kg kit  (Read 12691 times)

LordEoin

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[Review] Finlandia Premium Lager 1.5kg kit
« on: July 04, 2013, 02:15:58 AM »
Folks were right. Having a baby does indeed eat your time and finances, so with the aim to make a quality beer as cheap, quick and simple as possible, Finlandia kits and Brew at Home LME seemed like a winning Combo.

It's also been a while since I used Finishing Hop Bags, and thought they'd be worth another look at.

First of all though, a big thanks to Brian at HomeBrewWest for sending out all the bits and pieces. I tip my hat to you sir!


The recipe I decided on is:
Finlandia Premium Lager 1.5kg kit = €9.86
Brew at Home LME 1.5kg = €6.95
Hallertauer Hersbrucker Finishing Hop Bag = €2.25
250g Dextrose = €2.45 (with 750g leftovers)
Total = €21.51, with 750g Dex left over. Not bad for an almost All-Malt option.

Other 3kg kits are a lot more expensive (bulldog, st peters, woodford, milestone and muntons gold are all €27, and Brupak is €30). If you cut out the dextrose and Finishing Hops you'd clock in at just  €16.81, only slightly more expensive than a 1.7kg Coopers' Kit can on its own.

This will be brewed to 23liters and end up at about 4.5% before priming. If you want to keep it All-Malt and the same strength, remove the dextrose and brew to 20liters.
The kit comes with an Ale yeast, so it's easy to brew even in summer.
The Finishing Hop teabag is added on brewday, so you can just 'set and forget'.

Cleaning:
00:00 - Sterilize everything in the FV in 20L water, 30ml thin bleach, 30ml vinegar (thanks to garry for the cheap sterilizer tip)
Rehydrate the yeast in a jar of luke warm water and a teaspoon of sugar.
Sit the kit and LME cans in hot water to soften up.
Put the kettle on.

00:05 - Pour a beer and have some food while everything soaks and sterilizes.
00:20- Assemble FV and tap. leave it upside down to drip dry for a few minutes.

Brewing:
00:30 - Add 250g sugar, kit can and LME to the FV (they're both ring pulls. Bonus!). Stir and swirl until it's all disolved. Fill one can with boiling water, stir, pour into second can, stir, pour into FV. This will get all the goop stuck to the sides.

Put the Finishing Hops teabag into a cup and fill with boiling water. It'll steep for 10 minutes.

00:35 - Fill FV with cold tap water to 18L, check temperature. For the last few liters add cold/boiling water to aim for around 20-22C at 23L. Mine was tap water all the way to 23L to end up at 22C.

Stir vigorously to get as much air into the wort as possible.
00:40 - Take a gravity reading (1.042). Add the Cup of hop tea incuding the bag and contents. Pitch yeast.

00:45 - Move to final resting place, then add the airlock and temperature control.
The included Ale yeast might not be true to style, but it makes temperature control much easier and shouldn't affect the taste much.
The instructions say to brew in the 20-25C range, but it's probably best to stick to the lower end.
I've set up for 20C.

00:50 - Open another beer and clean up or face the wrath of SWMBO.

So, in total this quality brew costs about €20 and an hour (including preparation and clean-up, with  25 minute break), to end up with what should result in a very tasty, high quality, All Malt(if you choose), lightly hopped, beer! :)
« Last Edit: September 25, 2013, 11:12:25 PM by LordEoin »

LordEoin

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Re: Finlandia Premium Lager 1.5g
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2013, 11:37:05 PM »
This kit smells lovel. Malty citrusy yeasty goodness spewing out of the brewfridge  ;D

LordEoin

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Re: Finlandia Premium Lager 1.5g
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2013, 01:46:03 AM »
Boottled today and tasting quite nice.
I primed at 6grams per liter, dextrose. 1 or 1.5 carb drops per 500ml bottle would do too.
It's darker than I was expecting, kinda dark golden colour.
End result is 42 500ml bottles at about 4.8%
« Last Edit: August 05, 2013, 03:12:45 PM by LordEoin »

Garry

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Re: Finlandia Premium Lager 1.5g
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2013, 02:55:06 PM »
I haven't tried any of the Finlandia kits. They look like great value.

Nice fridge, I need one of them!

You bottled this after 12 days? That's fast alright. Do you cold crash in the fridge to clear it or anything?

LordEoin

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Re: Finlandia Premium Lager 1.5g
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2013, 11:45:13 AM »
It uses an ale yeast, so there was no need for long ferment and it was done after 5 days.
I left it another week to clean itself up, and I don't think any more time would have paid off.
It was already fairly clear and because the hop teabags go in on brewday I had no need for any more dryhopping etc.

So far so good. It looks like this will be a winner, just like the earlier Finlandia Traditional Ale :)

Ps: You can borrow that Fridge for a few months if you want. SWMBO freaked out at her curdled milk and bought a new fridge, so I'm after stealing the one from the kitchen. I won't be needing that brewridge for a few months at least.

vonHolt

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Re: Finlandia Premium Lager 1.5g
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2013, 01:16:49 PM »
Thanks for the write-up, I'm going to give this a try, but I'll be replacing the Finlandia Premium Lager (out of stock) with the Muntons Premium Lager.

With ground water now at 26-28C here, its looking like I'll be giving the all grain a rest until cooler temps return.

Cheers.

Fermenting: nada
Conditioning: zip
Drinking: Hacked Muntons Premium Lager kit with Saaz Hops, Chocolate Maple Porter
To Brew: Bruxelles Blonde, Summer Wheat, Jalapeno Saison, Mouten Kop, Bavarienfest

LordEoin

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Re: Finlandia Premium Lager 1.5g
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2013, 02:08:44 PM »
26-28C groundwater? how do you have a cold shower in the morning?  ;D

The munton's kits are supposed to be very good, and I've been meaning to try the Bock. Maybe soon :)
I've no idea if the premium lager comes with a lager or ale yeast though..

vonHolt

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Re: Finlandia Premium Lager 1.5g
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2013, 03:33:15 PM »
Good catch on the yeast, never considered that. However, I do have a pack (11g) of Safale S-04 here so if the kit comes with a lager yeast I'll use the Safale instead.

Cold showers - when it's 33 in the shade, 26 is cold  8)
Fermenting: nada
Conditioning: zip
Drinking: Hacked Muntons Premium Lager kit with Saaz Hops, Chocolate Maple Porter
To Brew: Bruxelles Blonde, Summer Wheat, Jalapeno Saison, Mouten Kop, Bavarienfest

LordEoin

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Re: Finlandia Premium Lager 1.5g
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2013, 11:39:56 PM »
I emailed muntons earlier because I was curious, and they confirmed that the Premium Lager comes with an ale yeast:
"Hello Eoin, the yeast on the lager kit is a general purpose yeast for both beers and lager when fermented between 18 – 22°C. If we were to use true lager yeast then fermentation would need to be carried out between 12 – 15°C which is beyond most home brewers capabilities. Regards Graham"

Keep your S-04 for another day vonHolt ;)

Garry

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Re: Finlandia Premium Lager 1.5g
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2013, 11:42:29 PM »
Ps: You can borrow that Fridge for a few months if you want. SWMBO freaked out at her curdled milk and bought a new fridge, so I'm after stealing the one from the kitchen. I won't be needing that brewridge for a few months at least.

Appreciate the offer Eoin. If the old fridge is surplus I don't mind giving you a few bob for it? We can talk about it in the 'Well at the coming Rebel meet. You might bring the fridge along with you? :P

vonHolt

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Re: Finlandia Premium Lager 1.5g
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2013, 11:45:38 PM »
Wow, thanks for checking that out...appreciate it.  :)
Fermenting: nada
Conditioning: zip
Drinking: Hacked Muntons Premium Lager kit with Saaz Hops, Chocolate Maple Porter
To Brew: Bruxelles Blonde, Summer Wheat, Jalapeno Saison, Mouten Kop, Bavarienfest

LordEoin

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Re: Finlandia Premium Lager 1.5g
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2013, 12:11:08 AM »
@ garry - It's only surlplus for a while. It'll eventually become a kegerator. But at the moment I have too much on my plate, and I'll not be focusing on kegs etc for a long time.
You're more than welcome to drag it away and use it until then.

@vonHolt - no worries, I wanted to know ;)

vonHolt

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Re: Finlandia Premium Lager 1.5g
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2013, 07:59:08 AM »
Hi,

I've a "version" of this in the FV at the moment and due to be bottled on Friday/Saturday. What did you use for carbonation?

I'm using this info as -> http://hbd.org/brewery/library/YPrimerMH.html a guide.

Thanks.
Fermenting: nada
Conditioning: zip
Drinking: Hacked Muntons Premium Lager kit with Saaz Hops, Chocolate Maple Porter
To Brew: Bruxelles Blonde, Summer Wheat, Jalapeno Saison, Mouten Kop, Bavarienfest

Greg2013

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Re: Finlandia Premium Lager 1.5g
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2013, 10:36:17 AM »
Eoin have you done any of the other Finlandia kits in the past and how do you rate them?
“Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”  Gen. James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis USMC(Ret.)

LordEoin

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Re: Finlandia Premium Lager 1.5g
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2013, 02:56:13 PM »
I tried a few of these last night, and they're very nice. Quite dark for a lager, but they taste really good.
They were quite Ale-y a few weeks ago, but they've really come on since.
Surprisingly well for only 2 and a half weeks in the bottle!
They're crystal clear, and would make a great session beer that everyone can enjoy.
i can't wait to try them again in a few more weeks  ;D

Also it will make a great base and I'll be hacking the hell outta this kit at some stage :D

@ VonHolt - Sorry, I completely forgot about adding the priming to the thread (edited in now). I bulk primed 7grams per liter, dextrose.
End result was 42 500ml bottles at about 4.8% ABV, perfect.
If I was usig carb drops I'd go wth 1 per 500ml (works out at about 6grams per liter) or 1.5 if I wanted it very fizzy.

@ deadman - yeah, I tried the 1kg Traditional Ale kit too. It's very cheap and makes a lovely drop.
I swapped out the yeast, but after finding out about the kit yeast and using it in this brew i'd be happy to just use it in the future :)

Here's the end result of how I got on:
It's a great kit with a bit of tweaking (probably great without tweaking too)

I did:
Kit + 1kg LME (the cheap can from HBW or HBC) + Coopers IPA yeast (had it handy and know how it works) to 20L
fermented at 18C for 2 weeks
dryhopped with 25g cascade + 25gBramling X)

It's in the bottles for just over a month and tastes great!
Good lasting lacing head, beautiful flavor/aroma.

These kits are €6.45 and the LME is €6.95, so apart from the hops the whole kit and fermentables cost less than most other kit cans.

I'm very surpised at this beer. What started in a lesson on cheap ingredients turned out to be a keeper.

Lessons :
finlandia 1kg kits are good
cheap LME is good
(cascade + bramling cross) = win : it's maths so it must be true!
« Last Edit: August 05, 2013, 03:17:07 PM by LordEoin »